Monday, July 9, 2012

Catholic Girl in a Public World: Part II

One of the biggest concerns I had when I went off to college was realizing what I was going to wear every day.  For 12 solid years, I had the privilege of being told what to wear.  When we had dress down days, it sure was amazing to have such a wide selection of clothing.

Fast forward to your first day of class: what to wear! What is too dressy for a college class? I swore never to wear sweat pants, so that is out of the picture.  Finally, you find the perfect outfit.  Your first day of class was fantastic!

Second day of class..oh man, what do I wear today that is of the same caliber as yesterday? Thank god for college classes, you only see the same people every OTHER day.

The third day rolls around though, and you are seeing the same people and your selection of clean clothing that is acceptable to society is dwindling. 

By Friday, I had very few clothes left.  I actually managed to round up a couple of girls who had also attended private schools and we had a small shopping trip to get clothes that would at least last us until the next week.  To avoid a mass expenditure on your dime, might I suggest shopping with mom a few weeks before school starts? These are the basics to pick up:

shopping list
Tops: Basic tees go a long way and they go with everything. Pretty and embellished tanks add a kick to blah outfits and look cute when you go to parties.  Blouses will come in handy once you start looking at interviews or if you just want to look more put together

Sweaters and Cardigans: These are a must-have for me.  Adding a cardigan basically gives you a whole new outfit! They are greater for layering in frigid classrooms or on windy days.  Try different cuts and patterns to mix it up every once and a while.

Coats: Coats are nothing to joke about.  Going to school in the mountains, I learned the hard way that it can get VERY cold.  A blazer for a more clean look, a rain coat for, well, the rain, and you wouldn't be a college girl without a North Face jacket!

Dresses: While Lilly and Vineyard Vines may be very cute for special occasions, they don't really translate well to everyday wear.  Think of something flowy and casual and easy to walk around in, but won't blow around in the wind.  Try some rather modest fits (for mass of course!) and a more professional looking one (never know when an interview for an internship is around the corner!).

Pants: Jeans are a no-brainer, just make sure you have enough, and in different styles.  Dress pants again are for mass or nicer events.  Khakis just to mix it up.

Skirts: We have been freed of the "fingertip rule"! But just because we can go as short as we want, doesn't mean that we can.  Problems: bending over, tripping and falling, windy days.  Again, modest and comfortable fits.  Thinner cotton for sweltering summer and something thick and wooly for the fall and winter, if you dare.

Shorts: Shorts have a very fine line between Cute and Trailer Trash.  If I can see your pockets coming out of the bottom, it is TRASHY.  I have loved tailored shorts since they came back a few years ago.  Just make sure there is no cheek hanging out.

When you get on to campus, it is all on you, sister! Check the forecast before you get ready. Using your basic pieces, put together simple outfits (duh!).  Accessories will come later, with the making of new friends and TONS more shopping trips and the ever-so-evil online shopping!

Dressing for college

Beware of a nickel allergy! This is just a personal horror story of mine, but I had no idea I was allergic to nickel until I got to college.  This is how it panned out.  Wearing a uniform for 13 years, I very rarely wore jeans.  Coming to college, I wore jeans almost every day! The button of most pairs of jeans are made of nickel, and they rubbed against my skin.  Eventually I developed this embarrassing rash right where it was in contact with my skin.  It took going to the dermatologist to tell me what was going on!  So girls, if you are having ANY type of skin condition, I highly suggest you paint some clear nail polish onto the inside of the button where it touches your skin, and get some moisturizing lotion like Cerave (around $14 at most drug stores).  If it is REALLY bad, please go to student health or your dermatologist.  I eventually grew out of it, but man that was a rough start to college. 

Here are some tips for dressing yourself for college:
  1. Always check the weather and dress in layers.  The weather can change and the temperature in the classroom may be freezing or way too hot
  2. Wear comfortable shoes.  Walking to class takes a while to get used to and comfy shoes will help!
  3. Plan your outfits for the week if you have to.  Take a look at your class and social schedule at the beginning of the week to see what you have to dress for (save that cute new skirt when you get to see the hot guy in your English class).  
  4. When spring rolls around, don't kid yourself.  You gained weight, no matter how much you want to deny it.  Please please please try on clothes before you go out. Nothing is more repulsive than muffin top and an unintentional mid drift. 
  5. You can NEVER EVER go wrong with wearing YOUR college's gear.  T-shirts, Sweatshirts, even collegiate apparel shorts are all fair game!

Now if you are REALLY that attached to your school uniform, why not bring it along? Halloween is just around the corner, and you never know when there is going to be a School Girl Party!
Having to pick out your own clothes...that is a definite #catholicgirlproblem

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